Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The War Within

Do you ever feel at war with yourself?

I suppose this can happen in many different ways with different people but for me lately, it has been a constant war with my spirit and my flesh and the desires of both.

Our pastor has been doing a mini-series on Elijah (which has been amazing) and he's talked the last couple weeks about going into the "deep" spiritually. Coincidentally enough, "launch into the deep" has been the call I've heard from God for a couple of years now without really knowing what He meant by it. There have been a few times where I thought I knew, only to find out later, that's not quite the direction He had in mind. But this idea of the "deep" has not been new to me and God sends it roaring into my radar every now and then just to make sure I haven't forgotten that He's called me to the "deep." What that "deep" is I'm still praying through. 

So...this war within myself. I find myself praying earnestly and genuinely for the Lord to break me. I know that it is only when I am truly broken that I can be used by Him as He desires to use me. I want Him to let loose in my life and allow me the opportunity to do something incredible in His name and for His glory. But then...

My flesh begins to creep in and I start to think..."Well, I want You to go crazy in my life, Lord, but maybe not too crazy. I like my comfort and the slight predictability that I have. I like knowing what's coming. I like structure and rules and knowing what's expected of me." And then that spirit side jumps in and says, "Yeah, but God doesn't always operate like that and if you're truly offering yourself, you're going to have to let that go." Oh, that's scary. Letting go of control...

Letting go of the reigns of my life so that He can truly REIGN in my life. 
Letting go of what I think I know so that He can be the ONE that I KNOW. 
Letting go of what I think I want so that He can do what HE WANTS.
Letting go of my desires so that He can give me HIS DESIRES. 

So I find myself vacillating between these two extremes and it frustrates me. I don't want to cater to my flesh. I want to feed my spirit and allow God to do what He will. 

I'm sure I'm not alone in finding myself comparing my Christian walk and life to others. I see how God uses others in such incredible ways and wonder why not me, Lord? But then our pastor said something that punched me in the gut on Sunday morning and has been bubbling at the surface of my mind the last few days. 
He said, "What is significant about those that God uses is not their gifts, talents, or position - it is their SURRENDER." 

That's just it - I have not fully surrendered. And I know that surrender is not a one time deal. It's a process. A process that God and I are working through together.

I know that the flesh is where the enemy wants me to stay and camp. But I also know that I have a Savior fighting for me. My prayer and my plea is that I will seek the Lord with all that I have and allow Him to continue to refine me. I know that refining may hurt and it might not be pretty. But I also know that it is out of the ashes of a life broken for Him that He can truly make beauty. I've seen it first hand. 

I want to experience all that obedience and surrender to Him have to offer. Therefore, no matter what, my spirit will win the war over my flesh. There is no other option.  

Photo not mine.
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